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Technologies that could change the world by 2022


Contributed by Sue Charles, HP Labs Research Analyst




PaoloFaraboschi-Nov13_web.jpgdejan6.jpgOver the past two years, nine IEEE Computer Society tech leaders collaborated to identify important industry advances that promise to change the world by 2022. Two HP Labs researchers, Dejan Milojicic and Paolo Faraboschi, were on this team, with the project being led by Milojicic, the 2014 President of the IEEE Computer Society. This effort resulted in the “IEEE CS 2022 Report,” which is available here:


The IEEE team identified and described 23 disruptive technology areas including: computer vision and pattern recognition, machine learning and intelligent systems, natural user interfaces, 3D printing, big data and analytics, high-performance computing, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), networking and interconnectivity, software-defined networks, 3D integrated circuits, multicore technology, photonics, universal memory, quantum computing, and devices and nanotechnology. 


Additionally, the team explored three disruptive market categories: life sciences, computational biology and bioinformatics, and medical robotics.  They also described three important policy areas: the open intellectual property movement, sustainability, and security cross-cutting issues.  Finally, massive open online courses (MOOCs) were identified as an important human capital disruption.


To validate their premises and conclusions, the team surveyed senior members of the IEEE Computer Society.  The creation and basic findings of the report are described in a recent article, “What Will 2022 Look Like?  The IEEE CS 2022 Report,” Computer (Mar 2015), 48(3), 68-76.


As the 23 disruptive technology domains were explored and the report came to life, one unifying theme that emerged was the “meta-innovation” of seamless intelligence – enabled by our increasingly connected digital environments.  As the team noted (in the Mar 2015 Computer article), “With pervasive computing and communication capabilities, information technology will increasingly enhance and augment human knowledge, intelligence, and connectivity. We project that by 2022 society will advance so that intelligence becomes seamless and ubiquitous for those who can afford and use state-of-the-art information technology.”


While these IEEE CS leaders acknowledged early on that forecasting the future is difficult, especially in the computer industry, they rose to the challenge.  They wanted to understand where and when disruption would likely occur, and help researchers and laypeople understand the evolution of technology and the potential impacts – on society and the world.  The result is this comprehensive and highly readable attempt to understand and describe our technological future.


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